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Lovepark – Lie Down

May 28, 2014

Yesterday I got my hands on quite the solid debut effort from the newly emerging UK act Lovepark. I can’t find much info on them as of yet, but that’s bound to change as soon as people hear tracks as elegantly chill and awesome as “Lie Down”. This tune revolves around a dreamy guitar melody and some nice vocals reminiscent of an act like The Antlers. And while I’m probably not going to get tired of this EP anytime soon, I’m excited and intrigued to see where this talented new act will go from here.

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Owen Pallett – I Am Not Afraid

May 27, 2014

I credit Owen Pallett for helping to get my foot in the door of the indie music scene many years ago. I still remember hearing and falling completely in love with “This is the Dream of Win and Regine”, one of my favorite tracks still to this day. Now when I first discovered this absurdly talented loop violinist, he went by the moniker Final Fantasy, but due to some video game copyright issues he made the switch to his birthname, Owen Pallett. And while 2010 saw one of the best years in music ever, it was Pallett’s Heartland that might have stuck out above all the rest.

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It’s the way he bridges strings, synths, and his strangely compelling lyrics all into one that distinguishes this Canadian artist from the rest. And with that, I was beyond excited to get my hands on his sophomore LP as Owen Pallett, In Conflict. The opening track “I am Not Afraid” tackles some dark existentialist themes, but as the title demonstrates, this is really more of an uplifting song about the acceptance of self. As is with most of Pallett’s work, I forsee this record taking many, many listens before it can be fully understood and appreciated — but even at just a couple times through it’s safe to say that In Conflict is one of my favorite new records on the year.

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Hayden Calnin – Coward

May 22, 2014

Hayden Calnin has already made quite the name for himself with his 2012 debut EP City. Since then he’s done some nice collabos with acts like Tully On Tully and Oliver Tank, but what I’ve been really waiting for is a follow up record from this talented Australian dreamfolk act. When I got my hands on his sophomore EP Oh, Hunter, I was honestly surprised that it fully lived up to my high expectations as most records this year quite frankly haven’t. It starts off with one of my new favorite tracks on the year, “Coward”, that’s got quite an epic cinematic feel to it. I’m sure he’s heard plenty of the Bon Iver references already, but I don’t think anyone’s going to complain about being coupled with one of the finest modern folk acts of our time. I presume a debut LP is in the works as well, and if it’s even half as good as the stuff Hayden’s come up with at this point, it’s bound to establish him as one of Australia’s most promising new acts.

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Lolawolf – Jimmy Franco

May 20, 2014

It’s about that time of year that the warm, breezy summer jams start to make their way across radio waves everywhere. Tracks like Lolawolf’s new one “Jimmy Franco”, which includes one of the more addictive chorus lines I’ve heard all year. Lolawolf made a big splash last year with the release of their debut self titled EP, and if this great new track is any indication then it looks like this LA trio is primed for an even more exciting 2014.

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The Trouble With Templeton – Glue

May 16, 2014

One of my favorite new records on the year has to come from Australia’s The Trouble With Templeton. I recall listening to the track “Six Months In A Cast” a couple years ago on Spotify, but after it suddenly vanished I almost forgot all about this intriguing one-man folk rock act. That is until I excitedly saw his sophomore record Rookie appear in my new releases section this week. You’ll find that track along with 11 other fantastic tunes on this new LP which I’d definitely recommend giving at least a few listens to fully grasp. It was the second time through the record that I was able to really appreciate tracks as special as “Glue” that overwhelm you with a euphoric guitar melody and some nice vocal harmonies. So if you’ve got some extra time this weekend kick back and engulf yourself in a record that’s sure to wind up on some “Best Of” lists by the year’s end.

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Japanese Wallpaper – Waves (Feat. Pepa Knight)

May 15, 2014

Here’s a chill, smooth, electro-oriented dream pop tune coming your way from Melboune-based producer Japanese Wallpaper. I knew the track was worth checking out merely based on the fact that he’s collaborating with fellow Australian folk-pop act Pepa Knight — and together these two have created quite the gem of a track in “Waves”. So while Japanese Wallpaper has been around for a few years now, I think this fantastic new single will serve as the catalyst in establishing his name in what’s becoming a highly competitive Australian market.

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it on iTunes here

Dawn Golden – Discoloration

May 14, 2014

After getting a glimpse at Dawn Golden’s first single “All I Want” a couple months back, I knew his debut LP would be something special. After finally delving through it yesterday, I’m happy and somewhat relieved to see that it, unlike many other records I’ve heard this year, actually lives up to my high expectations. My personal favorite track, “Discoloration”, starts the album off on a wonderful, if not a somewhat melancholy note. Specifically what catches me on this track is the fine vocal work. It’s the way Dawn, aka Dexter Tortoriello (also of Houses), sings along with his high pitched parallel self that adds a nice additional element to the lush, ethereal soundscapes featured in “Discoloration”. I look forward to hearing a lot more about Dawn Golden and his new record Still Life as his sound reaches unsuspecting future fans across the globe.

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Chromeo – Old 45’s

May 13, 2014

It’s taken Chromeo a good decade to reach the superstar status that they’re at today. Maybe people weren’t ready for their guitar-based disco funk sound until now, but whatever the reason it’s good to see them getting some well-deserved international acclaim. With singles as epic as “Come Alive” and “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)”, the hype behind their new album White Women is justified even if it might not fully live up to it. Still, there’s one track in particular that stood out among the rest as something quite special. “Old 45’s”, like many of Chromeo’s tracks, manages to maintain a degree of sincerity while still providing that superficial pop sound we know and love from them. It’s one of those tracks that, by the time the chorus rolls around, you know you’ve got an instant classic on your hands. So while I might not love every track on the new record, tunes as great as “Old 45’s” are one’s I’ll be coming back to often as we make our way into the warmer weather months.

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Wouie – Unfold

May 12, 2014

It could just be me, but for some reason this track reminds me a lot of a modern day version of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill”. I don’t know if I should classify it as synth pop or indie rock, but whatever the case I like what I’m hearing out of this Stockholm-based act Wouie. It looks like they’re just getting their name out there in the music biz, but tracks as awesome as “Unfold” are bound to get them the exposure they’re so deserving of.

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edapollo – Breathing Lessons

May 8, 2014

It seems like almost every talented emerging electronic producer is coming out of the UK these days. edapollo is just one of many acts trying to make a name for themselves in an ever-expanding group of experimental, sample-based electronic producers. But if you give edapollo’s debut EP Shadow Swell a chance, you’ll see why I think he’s got the potential to distance himself from the rest of the competition. Tracks like “Breathing Lessons”, for instance, immediately drew me in as he merges a lush, ethereal soundscape to a delicate guitar melody and some well-placed sampling. If he continues to produce tracks this good then edapollo should have no problem establishing himself a solid fan base for the future.

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